So where are Americans moving these days, and why are they moving there? United Van Lines’ recently released 41st Annual National Movers Study holds a few surprises. The study tracks United customers’ state-to-state migration patterns during the previous year.
According to the study, Americans are moving westward, flocking to the Mountain and Pacific West, while the Northeast and Midwest continue to lose residents. In 2017, more residents moved out of Illinois than any other state with 63 percent of moves being outbound. Surprisingly, Vermont had the highest percentage of inbound migration in 2017 with nearly 68 percent of moves to and from the state being inbound
As a region, the Mountain West continues to increase in popularity with 54 percent of moves being inbound. The West is represented on the high-inbound list by Oregon (65 percent), Idaho (63 percent), Nevada (61 percent) Washington (59 percent), and Colorado (56 percent). Employee relocation continues to be a big factor in moves. Of moves to Oregon, the highest-ranking western state, a new job or company transfer (49 percent) and proximity to family (24 percent) led the reasons for most inbound moves.
The southern states also saw a high number of people moving in with 52 percent of total moves being inbound. United Van Lines found the top reasons for moving south included company transfer/new job, retirement and proximity to family.
The Northeast continues to experience a moving deficit with New Jersey (63 percent outbound), New York (61 percent) and Connecticut (57 percent) making the list of top outbound states for the third consecutive year. Massachusetts (56 percent) also joined the top outbound list this year.
“This year’s data reflects longer-term trends of movement to the western and southern states, especially to those where housing costs are relatively lower, climates are more temperate and job growth has been at or above the national average, among other factors,” said Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “We’re also seeing continued migration to the Pacific Northwest and Mountain West as young professionals and retirees leave California.”
The Mountain West was the most popular destination for retirees with one in four movers indicating they chose to move to this location for retirement. From an employee relocation perspective, the top regions attracting movers taking new jobs included the Midwest (61 percent) and Pacific West (59 percent). The region with the largest exodus of residents due to finding jobs elsewhere was the South (61 percent). Across all regions, nearly one in five of those who moved in 2017 moved to be closer to family.